When I was a freshman in college I met one of my best friends. He was too funny. We'd have sooooooo much fun doing silly simple stuff, like going to the movies all day. We'd take a break go grab a bite to eat and then go back. We'd rent videos from RAO and binge watch them. We’d go riding and see how many numbers he could get from women. We would take his uncle with us to the store just so we could watch his eyes light up when he'd see pretty women. We'd play cards, and dominoes. We'd barbecue, try to go fishing, etc. We had so much fun.
When I met him he was sickly but that never stopped him from doing anything. He had his good days and his not so good days. He never really let me know the severity of his illness until he started to push me away after being home bound for a week. He wouldn't answer my phone calls and didn't call me. So I decided I am not going to lose my best friend like that. I went to his house and after he cursed me out for a good five minutes (but seemed like hours, he was a good cuss-er) he let me in. Once in the house I could see in person why he'd been so distant. He was in some serious pain and this pain was doing him badly. He explained to me exactly what was going with him and how in the past he'd just push people away because he didn't want people to see him like that. Oh we cried that day.
His illness began to take a real toll on his body causing him to have to quit work. We could no longer ride out like we used too. So we changed how we hung out. When he could handle a car ride we rode and when he couldn't we didn't. Eventually his illness caused him to be completely confined to home and most times in his bed. Before he gotten this sick he tried to be a good best friend slash uncle to my son by trying new stuff. He attempted to baby-sit. He attempted to cut my grass in 100+ degree weather. He attempted to barbecue. He was not good at many of those attempts but I loved the fact that he tried.
My best friend lost his battle with his illness. Although I miss him so very much knowing that he didn't have to suffer no more was ease enough to accept him being gone. Here is what I had to learn and make adjustments to having a terminally ill best friend. Every time he got sick it wasn't like with me where I could just either wait it out or go to the doctor for some meds to get better. For him every moment he got down sick it was a chance that he may not recover or that his standard of living may change. While I knew death is inevitable for everyone, he lived with the fact that his days to death ratio were closer than most. He pushed people away not to be selfish but because he didn't think he deserved to be loved due to his illness.
He never saw the glass half empty. He always saw the glass half full. He taught me a meaning (l have learned others ) of carpe diem “Seize the Day” or better for him “Seize the Moment”. As I have been blessed to reach what many would say mid-life I say holla at me when I am fifty then we can add mid-life. I am humbly blessed to have lived past forty and I am sneaking up to that fifty gracefully. The tapestry of my life-long friends keeps changing as well as my socio-geographical pinpoints of those I knew when. It seems that every month now I am either learning of a home going service of a loved one, peer, family member, or friend. Also I am watching the many behind the scenes stories being unveiled of those who have been suffering in silence for long periods of time.
We own our stories and that knowledge should prompt us to want to share them but for so many we don’t we hold on to them. We often leave our left behind ones with the solemn responsibility to grapple with how to share our stories or our memories. If you have/or are battling an illness terminal or chronic let people in and trust that you can share of yourself on your terms.
If you are chosen to be a part of the last moments of someone’s life make them lasting moments. Consider how you would want to be treated if you knew that your days to death ratio is drawing nigh. Even if you’re not suffering in these manners and consider your life to be better than the next do know that your days are numbered as well. We have to learn to treat people daily how we want to be treated not just when the chips are down. Show some empathy for the consistent changing mind set and mental framework of someone who is suffering a chronic or terminal illness. True enough no one wants to be treated in a manner they are displeased with no matter how the person that is treating them that way is fairing in life. All I am asking is that we move beyond tolerance and shift into a space of understanding others plights albeit same or different than yours.
So today let’s move to a unified communal space of embracing the fullness of life.
Peace and Bountiful Blessings,
The Queen Has Spoken
|Salute Best Friend EYE Miss You!|